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'Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel is where it all started for me and the Bach Collegium Japan. The chapel building was completed in 1981 and in 1983 Marc Garnier’s organ was built. Since then, we have presented more than 230 concerts in the chapel. During this time, the Bach Collegium Japan came into existence and we began and completed the recording of all of J. S. Bach’s sacred cantatas, as well as performing a large number of other baroque works. It therefore makes me very happy to present this disc of J. S. Bach’s music, played on the organ here at Shoin, in this year of the university’s 125th anniversary.' - Masaaki Suzuki
Born in Kobe, Masaaki Suzuki began working as a church organist at the age of twelve. He studied the organ under Tsuguo Hirono at the Tokyo University of the Arts, going on to the Sweelinck Academy in Amsterdam in 1979. There he studied the harpsichord under Ton Koopman and the organ under Piet Kee, graduating with a soloist’s diploma in both instruments. In 1990 Masaaki Suzuki founded the Bach Collegium Japan, with which he embarked on a series of recordings of J. S. Bach’s cantatas. His impressive discography on the BIS label has brought him many critical plaudits, and he is regularly invited to work with renowned period ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Baroque. Masaaki Suzuki also conducts modern orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch - estra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Tokyo Phil - har monic Orchestra, in repertoire as diverse as Britten, Fauré, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Stravinsky.
Masaaki Suzuki combines his conducting career with his work as an organist and harpsichordist. His recordings of Bach’s music for solo keyboard have won great acclaim, and the first volume of his series of the composer’s organ works was named Recording of the Month in Gramophone and Instrumental Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine, and awarded a Diapason d’Or in Diapason. Founder of the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Masaaki Suzuki was named honorary professor there in 2015. He is currently guest professor at Kobe Shoin Women’s University as well as principal guest conductor at the Yale Schola Cantorum. In 2001 he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 2012 he received the Bach Medal, awarded by the city of Leipzig.
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Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541
Chorale prelude ‘Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier’, BWV730
Concerto in D minor, BWV 596
Chorale partita on ‘Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig’ or ‘O Jesu, du edle Gabe’
Concerto in C major
Chorale prelude ‘Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier’
Prelude and Fugue in C major